Welcome to our channel where we will watch Eastern bluebirds nest and raise their chicks.
3/13/17 CHICKS ARE HATCHING on schedule
*HATCH WATCH STARTS SUN MARCH 12TH* Mark your calendars!
3/4/2017 LIVE STREAMING starts
3/1/17 INCUBATION begins
2/28/17 5th egg laid MARDI GRAS DAY
2/24/17 first egg laid
Egg laying: 5-7 days. Usually laying one per day (skipping a day in cold weather is possible but uncommon), for a total of 4-7 eggs. Often start egg laying a few days after nest is completed. Egg laying can be delayed (sometimes for a week or two - 3 weeks is not unheard of) in cold weather, for young parents, or in cases where food is scarce. In Connecticut, the first egg is generally laid in April. (Earliest reported in CT: First week of March. Latest reported in August - 3 broods that year. One brood/year is more common in CT.) Later broods tend to have fewer eggs, and Bluebirds tend to lay more eggs per nest in the north vs. south, but southern birds have a longer nesting season.
Incubation: 12-14 days. While they may sit on eggs occasionally during the egg laying period, "full-time" regular incubation doesn't start until all eggs are laid. They may wait about a week if weather is still cold. They may start incubating before the clutch is complete in warmer conditions. Hatching failure is highest during warmer conditions.
Hatching: May occur over 24-48hrs (rarely 72 hours)
Fledging: 16-21 days, typically 17-18. Occasionally a runt will fledge one or even two days later than the others. When they are first born, they look "a bit like hairy shrimp." Insect availability may speed up or delay fledging. If the box is empty in this time frame, the nest is flattened, and there is some fecal material (white) on the walls, it usually means fledging was successful. Once they leave the nest, bluebirds do not return to it. When the babies are 28 days old, they can fly well. They can feed themselves by Day 30.
Number of Broods: One to four broods per year. Fourth brood attempts may be made in southern climates. The number of broods probably depends on timing, temperatures, food availability, box availability and the experience or age of the parents. A subsequent brood may be started within days or weeks of fledging the previous brood. It may be in the same box or a different box.